We love our pets, and we keep them close to us, but a new Dyson study has revealed they leave behind a lot more than just their pet hair and can have an impact on our health and wellbeing.
Dyson’s annual global dust study involved 12,309 respondents from 11 countries, including Australia, and provided a deep insight into our cleaning habits and behaviours.
The COVID pandemic increased our concern and awareness of cleanliness in our homes with 93 per cent of Australians cleaning just as much if not more than they did last year to make sure their homes are a clean and healthy space.
The pandemic also saw a rise in pet ownership with 57 per cent of households around the world now owning a pet.
In Australia that figure is 52 per cent with a pet and 56 per cent of those owners setting no restrictions on the areas where their cats and dogs can roam inside their home.
Dyson customers who happened to be pet owners understand pet hair is a problem that can easily be seen and cleaned up.
But awareness about what else may reside on their pets is alarmingly low.
More than 60 per cent of Australians didn’t know that pollen could be carried on their pets and less than half (49 per cent) didn’t know bacteria could also reside on their pets as well.
Almost two thirds of Australian pet owners had no idea that viruses and house dust mite faeces could also be found on their pets.
And only 45 per cent of Australians groom their pets to keep them clean.
Dyson has a Groom Tool which are now compatible with their cordless range and can remove loose hair, pet dander, microscopic and skin flakes. So you can literally vacuum your pet.
“Many people think that pet hair is the biggest problem as it is the most visible,” says Monika Stuczen, Research Scientist in Microbiology at Dyson.
“It is unsurprising that people are unaware of the other particles that may reside on their pets because these particles tend to be microscopic in size.”
It’s not pet hair that triggers allergies but rather allergens found in pet dander.
The study also revealed that 38 per cent of Australians say they’re only motivated to clean up their home when they can see dust and dirt.
“It is a cause for concern if people only clean when they spot visible dust on the floors as many dust particles are microscopic in size,” says Monika.
“In fact, by the time people spot visible dust in the home, it is highly likely that there are dust mites in your home.”
The Dyson global dust study also posed an interesting question: are we cleaning the right spaces in our homes?
For example, 77 per cent of owners do not vacuum their mattress which is an issue when you think that nearly half of all Australian pet owners allow their pets to sleep on their beds yet are unaware of what they may be leaving behind.
Dyson has taken these findings and enable their vacuum cleaners to suit the conditions that customers face in their homes.
This includes engineers developing filters and seals to make sure that Dyson products not only captured the dust that you can see but also the particles you can’t.
“We hope this research inspires you to think about what is in the dust in your homes,” explains Monika.
“Just because it is out of sight does not mean it should be out of mind.
“The microscopic dust particles like pet dander and dust mite allergens may have a larger impact on your health and well-being than particles you can actually see with the naked eye.”